Amended in Assembly June 21, 2016

Amended in Assembly June 6, 2016

Amended in Senate March 30, 2016

Amended in Senate March 17, 2016

Senate BillNo. 814


Introduced by Senator Hill

January 4, 2016


An act to add Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 365) to Division 1 of the Water Code, relating to water.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 814, as amended, Hill. Drought: excessive water use: urban retail water suppliers.

The California Constitution declares the policy that the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable, that the waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented, and that the conservation of such waters is to be exercised with a view to the reasonable and beneficial use of the waters in the interest of the people and for the public welfare. Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board to take all appropriate proceedings or actions to prevent waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable method of diversion of water in this state. Existing law authorizes any public entity, as defined, that supplies water at retail or wholesale for the benefit of persons within the service area or area of jurisdiction of the public entity to, by ordinance or resolution, adopt and enforce a water conservation program to reduce the quantity of water used for the purpose of conserving the water supplies of the public entity. Existing law provides that a violation of a requirement of a water conservation program is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 30 days, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.

This bill would declare thatbegin insert during prescribed periodsend insert excessive water use by a residentialbegin delete customer, as specified, is prohibited, if during a period when certain conditions exist, as prescribed.end deletebegin insert customer in a single-family residence or by a customer in a multiunit housing complex, as specified, is prohibited.end insert Thisbegin delete billend deletebegin insert bill, during prescribed periods,end insert would require each urban retail water supplier to establish a method to identify and discourage excessive water use. This bill would authorize as a method to identify and discourage excessive water use the establishment of a rate structure that includes block tiers, water budgets, or rate surcharges over and above base rates for excessive water use by residential customers. This bill would authorize as a method to identify and discourage excessive water use the establishment of an excessive water use ordinance, rule, or tariff condition that includes a definition of or procedure to identify and address excessive water use, as prescribed, and would make a violation of this excessive water use ordinance, rule, or tariff condition an infraction or administrative civil penalty and would authorize the penalty for a violation to be based on conditions identified by the urban retail water supplier. By creating a new infraction, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 365) is
2added to Division 1 of the Water Code, to read:

 

P3    1Chapter  3.3. Excessive Residential Water Use During
2Drought
3

 

4

365.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that this chapter
5furthers important state policies of encouraging water conservation
6and protecting water resources in the interest of the people and for
7the public welfare.

8(b) For the purposes of this chapter, “urban retail water supplier”
9has the same meaning as provided in Section 10608.12.

10

366.  

(a) begin deleteExcessive water use during end deletebegin insertDuringend insert periods described
11inbegin insert subdivision (a) ofend insert Sectionbegin delete 367end deletebegin insert 367, excessive water use is
12prohibitedend insert
by a residential customer in a single-family residence
13or by a customer in a multiunit housing complex in which each
14unit is individually metered or submetered by the urban retail water
15
begin delete supplier is prohibited.end deletebegin insert supplier.end insert

16(b) Each urban retail water supplier shall establish a method to
17identify and discourage excessive water use, through one of the
18following options:

19(1) Establishing a rate structure, subject to applicable
20constitutional and statutory limitations, that includes block tiers,
21water budgets, or rate surcharges over and above base rates for
22excessive water use by a residential water customer.

23(2) (A) Establishing an excessive water use ordinance, rule, or
24tariff condition, or amending an existing ordinance, rule, or tariff
25condition, that includes a definition of or a procedure to identify
26and address excessive water use by metered single-family
27residential customers and customers in multiunit housing
28complexes in which each unit is individually metered or
29submetered and may include a process to issue written warnings
30to a customer and perform a site audit of customer water usage
31prior to deeming the customer in violation.begin delete Excessiveend delete

32begin insert(B)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertFor the purposes of subparagraph (A), excessiveend insert water use
33shall be measured in terms of either gallons or hundreds of cubic
34feet of water used during the urban retail water supplier’s regular
35billing cycle. In establishing the definition of excessive use, the
36urban retail water supplier may consider factors that include, but
37are not limited to, all of the following:

38(i) Average daily use.

39(ii) Full-time occupancy of households.

40(iii) Amount of landscaped land on a property.

P4    1(iv) Rate of evapotranspiration.

2(v) Seasonal weather changes.

begin delete

3 (B)

end delete

4begin insert(C)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insert(i)end insert A violation of an excessive use ordinance, rule, or tariff
5condition established pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall result in
6an infraction or administrative civil penalty. The penalty for a
7violation may be based on conditions identified by the urban retail
8water supplier and may include, but is not limited to, a fine of up
9to five hundred dollars ($500) for each hundred cubic feet of water,
10or 748 gallons, used above the excessive water use threshold
11established by the urban retail water supplier in a billing cycle.
12
begin delete Anyend delete

13begin insert(ii)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertAnyend insert fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph shall be
14added to the customer’s water bill and is due and payable with that
15water bill.begin delete Eachend delete

16begin insert(iii)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertEachend insert urban retail water supplier shall have a process for
17nonpayment of the fine, which shall be consistent with due process
18and reasonably similar to the water supplier’s existing process for
19nonpayment of a water bill.

begin delete

20 (C)

end delete

21begin insert(D)end insert (i) Consistent with due process, an urban retail water
22supplier shall establish a process and conditions for the appeal of
23a fine imposed pursuant to subparagraphbegin delete (B)end deletebegin insert (C)end insert whereby the
24customer may contest the imposition of the fine for excessive water
25use.

26(ii) As part of the appeal process, the customer shall be provided
27with an opportunity to provide evidencebegin insert that there was no excessive
28water use orend insert
of a bona fide reason for the excessive water use,
29including evidence of a water leak, a medical reason, or any other
30reasonable justification for the water use, as determined by the
31urban retail water supplier.

begin insert

32
(iii) As part of the appeal process, the urban retail water
33supplier shall provide documentation demonstrating the excessive
34water usage.

end insert

35(c) (1) The provisions of subdivision (b) do not apply to an
36urban retail water supplier that is not fully metered in accordance
37with Section 527. An urban retail waterbegin delete supplyend deletebegin insert supplierend insert shall
38comply with the provisions of subdivision (b) when all of the water
39supplier’s residential water service connections are being billed
40based on metered water usage.

P5    1(2) An urban retail water supplier that is not fully metered shall
2prohibit water use practices by an ordinance, resolution, rule, or
3tariff condition that imposes penalties for prohibited uses of water
4supplied by the water supplier. The urban retail water supplier may
5include a process to issue written warnings prior to imposing
6penalties as well as increased penalty amounts for successive
7violations.

8

367.  

(a) This chapter applies only as follows:

9(1) During a period for which the Governor has issued a
10proclamation of a state of emergency under the California
11Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section
128550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on
13statewide drought conditions to an urban retail water supplier that
14has moved to a stage of action in response to a local water supply
15shortage condition under the water supplier’s contingency plan
16pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 10632 that
17requires mandatory water use reductions.

18(2) To an urban retail water supplier during a period in which
19the water supplier has moved to a stage of action in response to a
20local water supply shortage condition under the water supplier’s
21contingency plan pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of
22Section 10632 that requires mandatory water use reductions.

23(3) To an urban retail water supplier affected during a period
24for which the Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of
25emergency under the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter
267 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the
27Government Code) based on local drought conditions.

28(b) The provisions of this chapter are in addition to, and do not
29supersede or limit, any other measures or remedies implemented
30by an urban retail water supplier.

31

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
32Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
33the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
34district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
35infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
36for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
37the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
38the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
39Constitution.


CORRECTIONS:

Amended Date--Page 1.




O

Corrected 6-21-16—See last page.     95